Should Christians Wear Jewelry?

Question from a Site Viewer
I don’t think that Christians should wear jewelry because the Bible says that we are a set-apart people. The world indulges in those kinds of things so we should not do it; I think that we should look different from the people of the world and show the light.

The sinners should see the difference in us–the light of God–because if God is within us then He will tell us what to do. God cannot be in someone who is rebellious and not wanting to know the truth. What do you think? Should Christians wear jewelry?

Tim’s Answer
I appreciate your viewpoint and trust God will bless you richly as you live out your beliefs on this matter in your life.

As you pursue a life of purity towards our great God, I encourage you to avoid the temptation to judge others on this matter. As the Apostle Paul taught us in Romans 14, it is not our role in life to ensure that everyone is convinced of our view on the rightness or wrongness of these external matters. Certainly, Scripture had many more instructions on Sabbaths than on jewelry. Yet, Paul instructs us not to make such external matters the issue. Our role is to live out the kingdom of Christ in a quiet and godly life, seeking to be a blessing to all we meet, and to show Christ’s great heart of love to a world that too often is torn by dissension, strife, and war. I have long been instructed by Romans 15:1 that we who are strong are obligated to bear with the weaknesses of the weak. In 2 Timothy 2:24, we are told to be gentle to all and patient. In James 3:13-18, we are told to pursue the wisdom that is pure, peaceable, gentle, etc.

So, should Christians wear jewelry or not? Jewelry, or the wearing of jewelry, is never the issue in life. The issue is what is the love of our lives. If Christ is our love, then jewelry will not be an issue. If Christ is not our love, then we need to deal with that issue.

There are two passages in the New Testament that directly address jewelry. In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, Paul states that he desires women to adorn themselves with modest apparel, not with fancy hairdos, costly jewelry, or expensive clothing. In 1 Peter 3:3, Peter says much the same thing. It is entirely possible to read these passages as a command to avoid jewelry. Some have taken it to mean that things like engagement or wedding rings should not be worn by Christians. I would not want to dissuade anyone who takes such a position, as long as they do not look down on others who read these passages differently.

I think, in reading these passages in the context of the entire Scripture, one can be true to the text and not see these as a total ban on jewelry, but rather as a statement that one’s beauty should come from within. Christ did not have a problem with jewelry. In the parable of the prodigal son, Jesus has the father ordering them to put a ring on the hand of his returned son (Luke 15:22). And certainly, there is support for the use of jewelry in festivals such as weddings (Genesis 24:22; Song of Solomon 1:10-11; Isaiah 61:10; Jeremiah 2:32). The problem always goes back to the heart.

If we avoid jewelry but have bad hearts, the avoidance of jewelry has no benefit to us, to God, or to others. And, of course, if we simply ignore these passages and do entirely the opposite, dressing with what can be only described as extravagance as a way to flaunt ourselves, we violate the words of our God.

I commend you for your devotion to God. May you have the strength of character to always pursue a life of devotion to our great God, in the face of many who will pull you in other directions. And may you be a blessing to those you meet.

tim

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